* NOW UPDATED with the Top 55 All-brands and Top 257 All-models *
If you had hoped the Russian new car market would start to erode its race to the bottom this month, you were wrong: August is down another 18% year-on-year to just 113.749 units, pulling the year-to-date tally down 14.9% to 895.357 deliveries. Always on the lookout for a positive outlook to this dire situation Joerg Schreiber, Chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, notices that this steep decline is accentuated by an August 2015 volume “propped up by currency fluctuations prompting customers to pull ahead the purchase of their car.” Also, Schreiber notes the market is now above the former historical low levels reached in 2009. August 2009 indeed was at 110.934 sales – only marginally lower – but the 2009 tally after 8 months was at a much higher 989.996. 2016 is therefore still slated to be one of the single weakest years of Russian new car sales so far this millennium.
It’s not bad news for all manufacturers though: seven of them in the Top 35 manage a year-on-year gain in August, starting with market leader Lada up 4% to 20.908 sales and 18.4% share. One main component of this revival is its new 2015-2016 lineup composed of the Vesta (#4) and X-RAY (#19) but this month the antediluvian 4×4 gains share (-14%) while the Priora actually gains volume (+1%). Lada’s performance is achieved despite the continuing cooling of the Granta (#3 in August at -39%) and the demise of the Kalina (-28%) and Largus (-56%). Hyundai also improves its market share with volumes down just 5% year-on-year to 11.906 and 10.5%. The Korean carmaker compensates the worrying loss of the Solaris (-41% but still #1 year-to-date) with one of the most successful new nameplate launches in Russia – no less: the Creta, spectacularly landing directly at #6 with 3.479 sales which means it has for its first month in market become the #1 SUV in the country, outselling the Renault Duster (3.473) and Toyota RAV4 (2.509)…
Paradoxically, Kia is the manufacturer losing the most ground in the Top 6 at -17% but it places the Rio as the best-selling model in Russia this month with 7.178 sales. It is only the second time the Rio is #1 after November 2014 when it broke the spell and became the first foreign model to lead the Russian sales charts since the creation of the Lada brand in 1970. Renault limits its fall to -7% thanks to good resistance from the Duster (-1%) and Sandero (-9%) and despite a weak Logan score (-40%) just as the all-new Kaptur drops out of the Top 25 (#28). Toyota drops even less at -4% and manages positive scores for its best-sellers Camry (+14%) and RAV4 (+6%) – both ranking inside the Top 10 – while the Prado (-1%) quietly breaks its Russian ranking record at #18 (#20 with LCVs), the nameplate’s third time inside the Top 20 in the past 12 months – and ever – after September and December 2015.
Volkswagen (-7%) owes its slight decline to a fantastic score by the Polo (+36%) reclaiming the #5 spot YTD off the Renault Duster but Nissan (-30%) struggles despite the Qashqai up 94%. There are two additional carmakers in the Top 10 managing year-on-year gains: Skoda (+6%) thanks to the Rapid (+36%) now by far its Russian best-seller and UAZ (+3%) with the Bukhanka up 21% and the Patriot back up to #22. Below, Mercedes (+1%), Volkswagen Vans (+51%) and Jaguar (+47%) shine.
Among Chinese manufacturers, Lifan (+2%) now outsells #2 Chery by almost 4 to 1 and places both the X60 (#39) and X50 (#41) well inside the Top 50. For the latter, this is the nameplate’s best ranking in Russia so far with sales up 71% year-on-year. Among other great performers within the models ranking, notice the Lexus LX at #36 (+182%), the Mercedes GLS at #49, Ford Ecosport at #54 (+67%), VW Passat at #80 (+106%), Lada VIS Pickup at #87 (+342%), BMW X4 at #95 (+737%) and Dongfeng Fengshen H30 at #106 (+53%).
Full August 2016 Top 55 All-brands and Top 257 All-models below.